freshwater community4


Porthole Catfish

porthole catfish

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Scientific Name:   Dianema longibarbis      
Min. Tank Size:   40 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   72-82°F      
pH:   5.5-7.5/1-20°dGH      
Size:   4"      
Diet:   Carnivore/Will accept sinking pellets      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Well suited to a community tank; can be kept with Tetras, Cichlids, Corydoras and Loaches.

Porthole Catfish

Though these fish can be found throughout the Amazon River basin, they typically inhabit slow moving waters away from the main river. Porthole Catfish can be found in creeks, tributaries and ponds throughout Peru and Brazil. This species was named for the row of spots running laterally along the line of the body which resemble the portholes of a ship. Most of the specimens of this species sold to aquarium hobbyists are wild caught which means that they may require extra time to acclimate to the home tank and they may also be more susceptible to disease than tank bred species.

Tank Set-up

Because they are peaceful fish, Porthole Catfish make excellent additions to the community tank, particularly when kept with other Amazonian species. Porthole Catfish prefer planted tanks that provide plenty of cover in the form of leaf litter and driftwood roots or branches. As with most Catfish, provide a sandy substrate as opposed to rough gravel to help prevent damage to sensitive barbels. Though these fish can adapt to a variety of environments, they are most happy when provided with plenty of cover.


These fish are likely to accept a variety of foods and may even feed from the surface of the tank. To maintain good health and coloration, offer your Porthole Catfish a staple diet of high-quality sinking pellets and wafers supplemented with small live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms and chopped earthworms.


Little is known about breeding Porthole Catfish but it is believed that they engage in similar spawning behavior to their relative the Flagtail Catfish. In order to encourage spawning, try keeping this fish in small groups of four to six members. Condition the fish with large amounts of live food and perform frequent cool water changes to simulate the rainy season in their natural environment.

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